I can't believe it's been almost 6 months from my last entry and massive MLS/USA soccer binge. This is what happens when work/school/life take over for several months. That and I think I blacked out after that USA-Mexico game for like a month or so...whatever, moving on.
Last week I read three stories that absolutely boggled my mind. And I just wanted to make sure that if I put my thoughts down on paper (or the internet) that I wasn’t crazy. So here it goes…let’s see if I remember how to write these things…
Okay, last week I read several articles based around NCAA student-athletes and their recruiting/transfer processes. Two of them are similar, yet different. Todd O’Brien, a reserve center for the St. Joe’s Hawks, graduated from St. Joseph’s and attempted to gain a waiver to play basketball as a graduate student at UAB. However, one of the conditions of this waiver is that St. Joseph’s must also sign off on the waiver, and for reasons that St. Joseph’s won’t go into for “privacy reasons,” they have denied O’Brien his waiver and it is doubtful that he will play for UAB. The NCAA also denied O’Brien a waiver to play this season which basically means that O’Brien is done as an NCAA student-athlete.
But if that wasn’t stupid enough, I can do better.
Brock Berglund is a former QB at Kansas, who was one of ten players dismissed from the team by new coach Charlie Weis. Berglund was told that he would be competing for a back-up spot behind incoming Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist, who got a waiver from ND (the same one St. Joe’s wouldn’t give Todd O’Brien) to play immediately and Berglund asked Kansas for permission to talk to other schools about a possible transfer, something all students-athletes cannot do without their school’s permission. Kansas denied his request and also told him that he would not be released from his scholarship, even though Berglund only asked for permission to talk to schools, not actually transfer. Berglund was then booted off the team for apparently missing a mandatory team meeting. Since his dismissal, Berglund has not been granted his release from Kansas.
I have the perfect solution for the NCAA, not that they’d listen to me. Since neither player has been released from their scholarship, I think that both players should be counted towards the program’s student-athlete scholarship numbers, i.e. 85 for football and 13 for basketball. Without knowledge of the Kansas football or St. Joe’s basketball scholarship players on the roster, for the sake of this blog, I will assume they are full. Since we’re already midseason in basketball, if St. Joe’s technically has 14 players on their roster (counting O’Brien), they should be penalized one scholarship for next season. Since Kansas hasn’t finalized their roster for the 2012 NCAA Football season due to ongoing recruiting, if Berglund
hasn’t been released from his scholarship by the end of the academic semester (sometime in May), then he should count towards Weis’ roster for 2012. If Kansas is over their limit with Berglund, they should also lose a scholarship for their next season starting in 2013.
C’mon people, this is stupid. Hundreds of players transfer from schools every year and nearly all of them go off without a hitch. These are young men who are penalized one year of eligibility for these transfers when coaches are fired and change jobs without penalty on a regular basis. A school should not be able to deny a transfer to a player that has graduated or wishes to leave the program during a coaching change. Incoming
freshman de-commit from schools on a regular basis when there is a coaching change. They also can de-commit quite frankly for any reason they want to, which is why I love this next story.
Gunner Kiel, one of the best QB prospects in the country and one of the best names in QB history as well, recently committed and enrolled at Notre Dame for the spring semester. Normally, not that big of a story, but since he had verbal/soft commits to Indiana and LSU in the past
months, he’s been getting a lot of press. Dennis Dodd is sticking up for Kiel, and saying that anyone who questions his commitment due to his number of de-commits is crazy. Couldn’t agree more. And I’m not saying that because I don’t miss a chance to stick it to the NCAA, but because Kiel is free to pick whatever school he wants and should be allow to make that decision without backlash from schools and media. Why ESPN, CBS and other major media outlets waste time on recruiting stories is beyond me, but like the “Hot Stove” of MLB (something else I largely avoid), recruiting season gives college sports writers something to do between bowl season and spring practice besides college basketball.
Look, great for Gunner for picking a school and program that he wanted to go to and I hope he gets a chance to stick to LSU and every
and anyone else at some point during his playing career. As for St. Joe’s basketball team and Kansas’ football teams, I really hope that karma exists. Because these kids are making millions for your schools, the least you could do is put them ahead of your bottom line.
UPDATE -- Jan. 24, 11:10PM -- Former Kansas QB Brock Berglund has hired an attorney in his quest to be released from his scholarship at Kansas. Berglund's appeals meeting with the Kansas Univ. student athlete appeals board on Friday.